In addition to Fujio and Kiyoko, there are eighteen children on the embankment, chasing and catching insects. Using only the light that shines from their lanterns, they hunt the insects and capture them in tiny cages.
Fujio is the young boy who gives Kiyoko what he believes is a grasshopper but which in reality is a bell cricket. Although he has announced his find and invited the other children to come see his grasshopper, his intent was to attract Kiyoko and give her the insect as a token of his admiration.
Kiyoko is the young girl who accepts from Fujio a bell cricket. She is the object of Fujio’s desire. Kiyoko is representative of all the girls in the world as well as that which is good and pure.
The unnamed narrator is an adult from whose point of view the story unfolds. Although the narrator’s gender is never pointedly named, the reader can assume he is male because he ends the story by giving Fujio advice on women in what seems like a man-to-man way.
Sara Constantakis – Short Stories for Students – Presenting Analysis, Context & Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories, vol. 29, Yasunari Kawabata, Published by Gale Group, 2001.